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10 tips for saving our beaches

Lori Wilson is a SheKnows.com Home & Living columnist, as well as a freelance writer in Los Angeles, who after a lifetime of enduring harsh Michigan winters, relishes the warmth year round.

Keep it clean

Our beaches are in danger. See list of things you can do help preserve our beaches.

Family at the beach.
We all like to head to the beach for vacation, because sometimes there's nothing better than relaxing on warm sand and wading in the ocean. But the next time you set out to enjoy the beach -- listen up -- you can play a part in keeping it clean and healthy for years to come. The Surfrider Foundation, a non-profit environmental group who through conservation, activism, research and education, works to preserve waves and beaches for all people. The organization has highlighted several ways you can help protect the earth's precious beaches.

1. pick up after your pet

This may seem obvious, but not everyone does it. When it reaches the ocean or other water source, it can make both people and marine life sick.

2. bag your clippings

If you don't bag your yard clippings, they may get blown into the street and therefore into storm drains, which creates a fertile breeding ground for bacteria.

3. don't smoke

Not only is it bad for your health and the health of those around you, but it's also the number one piece of trash found on the beach. Keep your coastlines clean and enjoyable for others and throw your butts away!

4. keep your driveways dry

Many people hose off their driveways to rid them of leaves and other debris, but this actually causes oils and pollutants to end up in our oceans, not to mention the water it wastes. It might take longer, but using a broom and dustpan is far more earth friendly than your garden hose.

5. use native or drought resistant plants in your garden

These types of plants use less water, which prevents runoff and helps keep our beaches clean.

6. recycle used motor oil

Do not ever dump used motor oil in a storm drain or field. Instead, take it to a gas station or approved recycling area.

7. pick up your trash

Again, another easy one, but not every one does it. When you're at the beach, pick up your trash and any other trash that may happen to be around you. This will prevent it from blowing into the water and help to keep the coastlines looking good!

8. reduce your use of fertilizer

Excess fertilizer that enters the waterways causes harmful plankton blooms that can harm fish, marine mammals and other sea life.

9. no more plastic bottles

Not only do single use plastic bottles stick around forever in landfills, but they also often end up on our beaches and in our bodies of water where they harm birds, sea turtles and other marine life. Using a sports bottle or other reusable container will help eliminate this.

10. get involved

Join proactive organizations such as the Surfrider Foundation who work to protect oceans, waves and beaches and do your part to clean up our beaches!

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